The association between spastic Cerebral Palsy, intellectual impairment, and gestational age: results from the Northern Ireland Cerebral Palsy Register

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Abstract

Background
Studies suggest a complex relationship between Cerebral Palsy sub-types, severity of impairment, and risk factors such as gestational age. To investigate these relationships, we conducted analyses on over 1,100 children included in the Northern Ireland Cerebral Palsy Register (NICPR) whose clinical CP subtype was Bilateral Spastic or Spastic Hemiplegia, and for whom information was available on the relevant variables.
Methods
We tested for the association between Bilateral and Hemiplegia subtypes, severe intellectual impairment, and gestational age (term; moderately preterm; very or extremely preterm) while controlling for gender, socio-economic deprivation, year of birth, and birth weight (using a standardized birth-weight score based on deviance from the birth weight average within each gestational age band). Severity of intellectual impairment was dichotomised (severe intellectual delay vs. moderate or no delay).
Results
Logistic regressions indicated a good fit of the model, and the predictors included explained approximately 19% of variability in the outcome. The results indicated a strong association between the Bilateral subtype and severe intellectual impairment: compared to children with the Hemiplegia subtype, those with Bilateral Spastic CP displayed a 10-fold increase in the odds of severe intellectual impairment. The results revealed a significant interaction between CP subtype and gestational age: for the Bilateral CP subtype, being born at term was associated with increased probability of severe intellectual impairment.
Discussion
Results are consistent with other studies (Hemming et al., 2008) in indicating that the likelihood of cognitive impairments increases with increasing gestational age at delivery of Bilateral Spastic CP children. The results are discussed in light of hypotheses that suggest the brain might be able to reorganise and compensate the effects of lesions and injuries when it is still less developed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventEuropean Academy of Childhood Disability International Conference on Cerebral Palsy and other Childhood-onset Disabilities - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 01 Jun 201604 Jun 2016

Conference

ConferenceEuropean Academy of Childhood Disability International Conference on Cerebral Palsy and other Childhood-onset Disabilities
CountrySweden
CityStockholm
Period01/06/201604/06/2016

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    Perra, O., Garcia Jalon, G., & Cummings, C. (2016). The association between spastic Cerebral Palsy, intellectual impairment, and gestational age: results from the Northern Ireland Cerebral Palsy Register. Poster session presented at European Academy of Childhood Disability International Conference on Cerebral Palsy and other Childhood-onset Disabilities, Stockholm, Sweden.